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You have probably heard terms like “Squat… Deadlift… Bench Press” and many more through friends and people around gyms or any fitness areas, but never understood what they meant.
For you to hear such terms, I am guessing you are trying to put on some meat on your body, whether to bulk it up or toned it out. Well I got you covered, boy or girl, beginner or Greek God like person… all of you are welcome to the best compound movements for mass.
What is a Compound Movement?
Before we get into defining these terms you heard of, let me explain to you what they have in common. Such terms are exercises any bodybuilder do them on a regular basis, matter fact a day in training does not go by without performing them or at least just one of them.
A compound movement is a move that engage multiple muscles on your body at the same time excessively which may lead to a power boost, but in turn taking a toll on your body for activating multiple sources of energy through you muscles groups.
What are They?
Now that you got to know what are they and what they have in common, let me break down few of these moves (together with how to perform them in short) especially the best five of them in my opinion and some other coaches or personal trainers:
- Squat: The way you do this is to stand with a shoulder width stance, straighten your torso and start to go down through bending your knees then raise up again.
Muscles engaged; quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, gluts and core.
- Pull Ups: This might be hard for beginners I get it, but thankfully there are supported pull up machines nowadays… use them. Grab the fixed bar above your head more than shoulder width apart and start pulling your whole body up and return down.
Muscles engaged; back, rare deltoid, mid deltoid, traps, biceps and forearm.
- Deadlift: Grab a free weighted bar on the ground with your feet shoulder width apart and your torso straight, raise it up to your knees using your legs then lift the rest using your back.
Muscles engaged; calves, quadriceps, hamstrings, gluts, core, back, rare deltoid, mid deltoid, front deltoid, traps and forearm.
- Bench Press: The classic bench press, this is where you lay on a horizontal bench with a free bar above you. Grab the bar more than shoulder width apart and let it come back down slowly using gravity to the nipples’ area and push it back up.
Muscles engaged; chest, front deltoid, traps, triceps and forearm.
- Military Press: Grab a free weighted bar while standing more than shoulder width apart and raise it up until your arms are straight above you with your palms out.
Muscles engaged; front deltoid, traps, triceps and forearm.
These are not the only compound movement exercises… look at it this way, any movement that requires you to use multiple muscle group simultaneously is considered a compound movement.
If you notice the breakdown of the movement I mentioned above, we incorporate such exercises because they represent our daily life activities in the real world from picking laid down stuff using deadlift and squat movements to pushing things of us and over our heads.
These movements hold a crucial role in our overall health, due to using massive amount of muscles at the same time this is a good thing in terms of heart conditions it causes the blood to flow in and out regularly. The complex movement itself lubricates body joints which in enhances their flexibility and mobility and such thing is required to build body mass.
Speaking of mass, there is a general and simple rule followed when we want to build massive muscle on a regular basis… the heavier you lift the more you build muscles. Since these movement uses multiple muscle groups, in turns it helps you lift heavy weights which equals to mass gaining.
When & How to Incorporate Them?
Let say you have put on some fat gains and you are looking to get rid of them by replacing them with some lean good looking muscle mass, as mentioned before these movements engage multiple muscle groups which means you heart rate reaches the roof this is where you burn a lot of calories… the more you burn the more you lose fat.
Maybe you are not a beginner anymore or maybe you have been influenced by others, influenced to focus on certain body part looks (like them GUNS, six pack, silver back action, shoulders like boarder… etc) or you simply were neglecting the compound movement all in all.
These certainly leads to muscle imbalance, this is were your one arm is bigger than the other due to isolation workouts or your one limb is shorter than the other because your core have not been engaging with the rest of your muscles in a correct manner. And so, here comes the glory COMPOUND MOVEMENTS to fix your messed up body and restore it to its version #2… BETTER, STRONGER and BIGGER.
I hope by now you are familiar with the terms which I have covered in this article and you have grasp the definition of the movement. Remember anything associated with multiple muscle groups at the same time is compound movement.
Their movement alone express how much effort your body goes through to function in sync with the rest of the muscle groups. As you saw in breakdown, how many muscles engagement occurs simultaneously whether pushing and pulling the weight or just simply working as a stabilizers for the weight during the motion such as calves, shoulders or forearm.
Some of them may go to an extend of doing total body work like in deadlifts, every muscle are in action except for the chest and arms (biceps and triceps).
At the end you saw their benefits, do not let anyone fool you into not using such compound movement unless it holds a threat to your body.